Over the Weekend: May 23-26

Earl Root

The weekend started out on a sad note, with the passing of a local music champion. Musician and all-around metal scene staple Earl Root died Friday due to complications with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which he battled for 10 years. Root played guitar in local metal bands Disturbed, God-Awful and Aesma Daeva, hosted the KFAI radio show "Root of All Evil," was the owner of Root Cellar Records and founded the Root of All Evil label to promote independent bands.

To learn more about Root, check out Paul Demko's 2003 feature story, and Cecile Cloutier's 2004 story about the closing of Root's record store. Additionally, in this year's "Best Of" issue of City Pages, Root's KFAI show was awarded "Best Radio Program After Midnight."

Funeral services will be held Friday, May 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at:

Henry W Anderson Mortuary 3640 23rd Ave S Minneapolis, MN Phone: 612-729-2331

An impromptu memorial has started on Earl's MySpace page, where fans and friends can leave messages and memories, as well as on the message board

Bob Wootton Chambers Hotel, May 24

It's not often that one gets the chance to hear the ghost of Johnny Cash channeled through the guitar of a living legend. Which is precisely why I jumped at the chance to see Bob Wootten play the Chambers Hotel; I never had the opportunity to see the Man in Black live, and Wootten provided fans with a strikingly familiar performance of Cash's best songs.

From 1968 to 2005, Wootten played alongside Cash as his main guitarist, providing the signature "boom-chick" sound that listener's associate with Cash's music. In addition to looking and acting like Cash, Wootten's smooth baritone voice was the perfect substitute for the late singer's, providing the small audience with a unique chance to hear Cash's songs performed almost exactly the same way they would have sounded had he been there himself.

"People ask why I'm still playing," Wootten commented between songs. "One reason is because I love it, the other is because I don't want these songs to fade away."

Wootten was backed by local group Six Mile Grove, who also opened the evening with a set of their own smooth Americana music. Six Mile Grove's songs were sweet and simple, with the exception of one barn-burner pulled out at the end of their set that had the audience hollering for more. Lead singer Brandon Sampson really shined as he played with Wootten, especially during his fast-paced and percussive harmonica solos.

Soundset 08 Metrodome, May 25 By David Hansen

Excerpt: "Too much of a good thing -- is it actually possible? 2008's Soundset festival, an 8-hour extravaganza of independent hip-hop presented by our own crown jewelers Rhymesayers Entertainment, tested the hypothesis Sunday afternoon, filling the Metrodome parking lot with dozens of MC's, scores of b-boys and b-girls, a handful of skaters, and thousands upon thousands of eager concert goers. Battered by unseasonable heat and threatened by a momentary squall of icy rain, energized by beats and rhymes ad infinitum and sweltered by four dollar waters and five dollar corn dogs, there was plenty to adore and abhor at Soundset 08."

Continue reading David's review.

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